Funny thing, being an atheist in today's world... the evangelical masses assign you one defining characteristic: you are one without faith. It's tragically ironic from my perspective... it's frustratingly funny. Because almost all the atheists I've met have had faith in the same thing as me, the one thing it makes sense to have faith in: humanity. All of us aligned to one directive: to see the human race prosper and develop into what has the potential to be the most extraordinary thing in the universe. We can all sit here and weigh the probabilities of extraterrestrial intelligent life in the sprawling cosmos, sure... but we must acknowledge the possibility that humanity is ALREADY the most remarkable thing in existence. And you don't have to be a history major to recognize how fast our civilization is accelerating when compared with how long we've been forming fishhooks from bone.
We have great potential.
Everyone is able to contribute, in small ways... even if it means a more localized support of humanity: raising a family well, doing one's work well, educating the world's youth, expressing the human experience through art and music... whoever you are, whoever has been crazy enough to read this far, you have something to contribute to the advancement of our kind. There is no doubt in my mind. But there are some key notions that result from the humanity-faith philosophy I'm describing:
Don't blow yourself up with a bomb because of who you think created the universe. Don't use another person as solely a means to an end. If somebody's sexual practices don't bring direct harm to anybody else, do not intervene (come on, sex is one of the best parts of being alive. Top five. Why would you limit that?). Don't assign judgement on a human being based on physical attributes alone: don't be a racist sexist misanthropic fuck... rather, love thy neighbor. And don't forget to bring happiness to your own life… otherwise, what’s so great about humanity?; Love thyself.
This is Victoria crater at Meridiani Planum, near the equator of Mars. This image is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on @nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.